Italy on the rise

As many of the world slowly navigates its means by the COVID pandemic, a brand new set of dynamics has emerged in Europe since Angela Merkel retired from politics in September. With the UK now not a member of the EU and France led by the more and more ineffective authorities of Emmanuel Macron, Italy beneath Prime Minister Mario Draghi has emerged as a significant political participant inside the EU.

New Europe spoke with Benedetto Della Vedova, Undersecretary of State on the Italian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, concerning the human rights scenario in Afghanistan and bilateral relations with France and Germany.

New Europe (NE): How do you consider the human rights scenario in Afghanistan?

Benedetto Della Vedova (BDV): It’s dramatic. We are speaking a couple of nation of 38 million folks that has fallen once more beneath the thumb of a violent, oppressive and misogynistic regime. It’s a real nightmare, particularly for ladies and ladies. The entire scenario is a form of “Back to the Future” that no person would have imagined might reoccur. I’m reassured by the truth that on the latest extraordinary assembly of G20 leaders’ on
Afghanistan, which got here beneath the Italian Presidency, the priority for human rights remained entrance and centre the entire time. A transparent message was despatched to the Taliban’s interim authorities that human rights and elementary freedoms – particularly the rights of girls, kids, minorities and susceptible individuals, together with members of the LGBT group – should be revered in response to the ideas enshrined within the UN Charter and different related worldwide devices. Obviously totally different international locations have totally different views on the magnitude and gravity of human rights violations and the correlation between these essential benchmarks and the connection with the de facto Afghan authorities, however the backside line is that the worldwide group acknowledges the precept that the respect of human rights and dignity is a high precedence.

NE: Why was it vital to nominate a human rights particular rapporteur for Afghanistan?

BDV: To preserve Afghanistan within the highlight. The appointment of a Special Rapporteur, which
will solely be formalized subsequent March, avoids the chance of a “monitoring gap” following the written report from High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet requested by the
Human Rights Council. It is significant {that a} Special Rapporteur, adequately supported by devoted and particular experience to be supplied by OHCHR, is absolutely in a position to perform their mandate with the advantage of unconditional entry with regards to fact-finding, authorized evaluation, the rights of girls and ladies, and forensics. Otherwise, the chance is for Afghanistan to finish up in a scenario the place abuse, violence and discrimination will proceed unpunished.

NE: After a number of high-level conferences in each capitals. How can a bilateral cooperation
between France and Italy be a brand new engine for Europe?

BDV: The bilateral relation between France and Italy goes by a really constructive section. We have each an curiosity in preserving a standard appreciation of the primary European points at stake. The will to consolidate the bilateral cooperation is demonstrated by the very superior state of negotiations on the so-called Trattato del Quirinale. France and Italy are very eager on reinforcing their cooperation from a European perspective utilizing our converging pursuits as leverage. There are many areas the place these converging pursuits may be utilized, together with migration, the place we’ve not too long ago made a joint proposal on Central Mediterranean routes referred to as “The Team Europe Initiative”, which might make well being a standard coverage following the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re additionally going ahead with the digitalization means of our societies, which gained’t depart anybody behind and we’re cooperating within the battle towards local weather change and decarbonization. Our international locations are working collectively on geopolitical issues like Libya, Afghanistan and the Indo Pacific by having a standard international and protection coverage, which is the last word purpose. In regards to post-Covid financial restoration and making NextGeneration EU roll out a sustainable success and never only a one-off expertise, and so forth. As we all know, French presidential elections
are looming, however this path has been set out and mustn’t endure setbacks. I imagine that Europe can solely however profit from enhanced italo-french cooperation and, much more so, by an enhanced cooperation of the three most vital founding members of the EU – Italy, France and Germany.

NE: How do you see the way forward for relations between Italy and Germany post-Merkel and with the potential new SPD, Liberals, Greens Government?

BDV: We are going through an especially vital transition for Germany; for Europe as an entire.
After 16 years of Angela Merkel on the helm, the CDU’s defeat within the elections in
September despatched a robust sign of change. However, independently from what the ultimate tripartite coalition will appear to be, the end result additionally confirmed that Germany is democratic and stays pro-Europe. Many observers underlined the truth that European points had been absent from the electoral debate, one thing that must be higher analyzed with out making a fuss. The primary reality stays that Germany will keep its standing because the central core of the European panorama. It will retain its important function in shifting the combination course of ahead, together with serving to to develop a standard international and protection coverage along with its companions. Among them is, after all, Italy. Germany is a
elementary interlocutor for Italy and a primary buying and selling associate, with €116 billion commerce alternate in 2020 and €69 billion within the first six months of 2021. Our mutual pursuits go properly past our interdependent economic system, as they’re based on frequent values, on long-lasting cultural exchanges, on robust contacts between our native administrations in addition to within the personal sector, and a shared imaginative and prescient of the European undertaking. This shut relationship was seen throughout Chancellor Merkel’s latest farewell go to to Rome and, likewise, President (Sergio) Mattarella’s go to to Berlin. Our ties will proceed, regardless of the ultimate new authorities format will probably be.

NE: Which different EU international locations are you going to go to and with what agenda?

BDV: Since I took workplace, and with pandemic restrictions allowing, I had bilateral visits to Berlin, London, Paris, Madrid and Brussels. During these bilateral visits, I often met with my counterparts who’re in command of human rights, UN and different multilateral our bodies, European affairs and tradition. The agendas often vary from the continued train generally known as the Conference on the Future of Europe to what this system of our subsequent Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will probably be. This contains all the pieces from cultural exchanges to human rights points, each inside the EU and worldwide, whereas additionally allowing for the eye we’ve acquired by chairing the G20 and co-chairing the
COP26. The undeniable fact that we’re going by a interval of shifting alliances signifies that we
Europeans should continuously seek the advice of, cooperate and coordinate with a purpose to develop and promote our personal imaginative and prescient for Europe’s means ahead within the quick, mid and lengthy phrases in a world the place the extent of competitors is excessive.

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